Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Keep it simple- Have an empty inbox

So 1990s

As you may have gathered from my previous blog on the subject of lost emails, I am not a huge fan of emails. I was, years ago I had something of a love affair with emails. I'd code them, and save them and sort them. I'd search through my sent items, and even my deleted items to support an issue, or just to refresh my memory on a particular incident or solution.

A hip new world

But that was years ago. I've since fallen out of love with emails, and moved in. I am now most proud of the fact that I have very few emails stored anywhere! And I'm not alone. All of the staff at UniPhi Australia, including Mark Heath our Managing Director, have managed to wean themselves off the use of emails. Our clients too are rejoicing in the lack of reliance on email, and the ability to collaborate on important issues via the UniPhi Issues module.

UniPhi has always enabled project teams to share information in an open and transparent way, which is  the most efficient way to collaborating.

The UniPhi Issues module is the centralised hub of collaboration. Each team member can see what actions are required to resolve an issue, who has been assigned, and what discussions have occurred to date. Team members can also add their own comments and even save file attachments to the issue.

When we sought feedback from our clients though, it became obvious that the remaining reliance on email came from the correspondence they sent and received to external parties (such as suppliers, regulators, or clients). So a few years ago, we developed the UniPhi 'Save as Issue' plug in. This plug in installs to your MS Outlook application, and allows you to save an email into an issue within UniPhi, attachments and all. Not only that, but the plug in also enables you to create new issues into UniPhi, with all of the information that has arrived via email. It's powerful stuff, and offers immense time savings to our clients that have embraced this feature.

Thankfully, not all correspondence relates to problems or opportunities so we have now added to the save as issue with our just released 'Save as Documentplug in feature. This feature  allows you to save any of your emails into a UniPhi document. Again, you can also include email attachments. An example scenario of how the 'Save as Documentfeature can be used to save time and eliminate frustration would be:

You are working on a design aspect of a project. The architect sends you version one of a drawing. You can save that drawing into a UniPhi document (eg Design Drawing) within your project.

You and your entire project team now have access to version one of the Design Drawing document. At a later date, the architect may submit a revised version of the drawing. It is now very easy for you to save the revised drawing into the Design Drawing document, from your inbox, at the press of a button. The document revises to version two and your team is always able to access the correct version. As UniPhi features a fully functional Document Management System, issues such as version control, document identification/location, and correct template usage are all taken care of.

Now that you have broken up the complicated love affair with email, your biggest issue now, is all the free time you will have. So put your feed up, relax and read a book.

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